#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Karen (@Karen55555) #GoBuyTheBook #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. It’s Monday which means I’m sharing another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post with you today.  I am delighted to welcome the lovely Karen to the blog.  Karen blogs over at Go Buy The Book (very sage advice!) so if you’re a crime fan then I suggest you head on over and hit the subscribe button ASAP.

What’s #R3COMM3ND3D? #R3COMM3ND3D gives bookish types (authors, book bloggers and those who work in publishing) the opportunity to shout about three books they love.  There’s a catch though.  They must be from a specific year.  At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 book love but from 1st November, #R3COMM3ND3D will be all about this year’s brilliant books.  If you fall into one of the aforementioned categories and you would like to take part in this year’s #R3COMM3ND3D then please add your details to the form at the bottom of this post.

Without further ado, here are Karen’s choices….

don't make a sound

Don’t Make a Sound  (DS Nathan Cody #3) by David Jackson
I love a book with a huge curveball and this one was bigger than most! A very clever plot that made me question everything I had read. This is definitely my book of the year.
https://gobuythebook.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/dont-make-a-sound-by-david-jackson/

dying truth.jpg

Dying Truth (DI Kim Stone #8) by Angela Marsons
The books in the Kim Stone series are all excellent, but there was something even more special about this one… even if Angela Marsons did leave us all aghast by one of the events!
https://gobuythebook.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/dying-truth-by-angela-marsons/

the stranger diaries.jpg

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
A spooky murder-mystery from the author of the Ruth Galloway and Stephens & Mephisto novels. Very atmospheric, this is a perfect read for a dark autumnal night.
https://gobuythebook.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/the-stranger-diaries-by-elly-griffiths/

Thanks so much, Karen. I adore David Jackson’s DS Nathan Cody series so I’m delighted to see Don’t Make a Sound on your list. I also love the DI Kim Stone series (but I’ve fallen behind and haven’t read Dying Truth yet). And The Stranger Diaries is going straight on the wish list!

If Karen has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Don’t Make a Sound by David JacksonDying Truth by Angela MarsonsThe Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths |

About Karen:
An avid reader of crime fiction and non-fiction who also likes to dabble in genealogical mysteries and psychological thrillers. I blame Enid Blyton and her ‘Five Find-Outers’ books which were read numerous times as a child!

Karen’s Social Media Links:
Go Buy The BookTwitter @Karen55555Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Jo Robertson (@jocatrobertson) #MyChestnutReadingTree #damppebbles

Hello my bookish friends. Happy Friday and a very warm welcome to damppebbles and to another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post.  Today I am thrilled to welcome my #blogbestie to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks, the fabulous Jo Robertson. Jo’s brilliant blog, My Chestnut Reading Tree, is a must-read for book lovers so if you haven’t discovered it yet (and I’m sure you have!) then head on over and say ‘hi’.

If you’re new to damppebbles and you’re wondering exactly what #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is, then allow me to explain. #R3COMM3ND3D is where I invite bookish types – authors, book bloggers and people who work in publishing – to shout about three books they love (yes, ONLY three!).  They can be any genre, any author – traditionally, indie or self-published.  There are no rules.  Well, actually, there is one rule and it’s pretty hefty.  All three books must have been published in the same year.  At the moment we’re sharing the love for 2018’s releases but on 1st November #R3COMM3ND3D2019 starts.  If you would like to take part please fill in the form at the bottom of this post.

Here’s are Jo’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks…

the old you

The Old You by Louise Voss
For me, this is the perfect example of its genre. A slow build up of tension, with unreliable narrators and a cleverly crafted unique storyline come together in this twisty domestic Noir. But it was just so beautifully written that I actually savoured it over the period of a week and I never do that!!
https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/the-old-you-by-louise-voss-blogtour-orendabooks/

where the missing go.jpg

Where the Missing Go by Emma Rowley
I loved this book so much that I immediately preordered her second book as soon as I finished it. This one was so addictive it was completely unputdownable! I found I could relate to the main character so completely that the emotions I felt for her situation threatened to overwhelm me at times. And I don’t want to mention the twist really as I don’t want the reader to look for it but as it’s expected now in the majority of psychological thrillers, I will just say…..wow!!!
https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/where-the-missing-go-by-emma-rowley-orionbooks-benwillisuk-emma_rowley/

the other woman.jpg

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
I read this on holiday last year and it was one of the books that I bought when I did my £5 Amazon gift card challenge where I tried to buy as many books as I could for £5 that I wouldn’t have bought otherwise. This was a brilliant choice for me and the favourite book of my holiday! “Jaw dropping” and utterly addictive, this is a book that you will be drawn into without even realising it’s happening and I guarantee you’ll want to talk about it to someone who’s read it afterwards!
https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/holiday-reads-part-2-theotherwoman-ifidiebeforeiwake/

Brilliant choices, thanks Jo. I already have The Old You on the terrifying TBR and I’m adding the other two to the wishlist.

If Jo has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Old You by Louise VossWhere the Missing Go by Emma RowleyThe Other Woman by Sandie Jones |

About Jo:
I’m just a Nana who loves to read! I read mainly psychological thrillers and crime books but I will read pretty much anything if it appeals to me.

Jo’s Social Media Links:
My Chestnut Reading TreeTwitter @jocatrobertsonFacebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Kim (@about_thethrill) #ItsAllAboutTheThrill #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. I hope you had a great weekend, full of bookish treats. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. Today I am delighted to welcome a fabulous book blogger to the blog, the lovely Kim at It’s All About the Thrill. If you haven’t discovered Kim’s blog yet then what are you waiting for?

#R3COMM3ND3D2018? What’s that about then? Allow me to explain. #R3COMM3ND3D is all about sharing the book love. I invite bookish types (book bloggers, authors and those who work in publishing) to shout about three books they love. Any genre, any author but they must have been published in the same year.  At the moment we’re concentrating on 2018 but from 1st November (which actually isn’t all that far away now and will be here before we know it!) it will be all about 2019’s releases.  If you want to shout about three books published in 2019, please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Kim’s choices…

one day in december.jpg

One Day in December by Josie Silver
This is my biggest surprise read of the year. I usually only read thrillers/suspense, so this is not my genre. WOW! I can’t even express how much I loved this book. It just makes you feel good. You will be missing out of you don’t read it because it is “not your genre”.
https://itsallaboutthethrill.blogspot.com/2018/11/one-day-in-december-by-josie-silver.html

the craftsman

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
Waking up to find out you are buried alive in a coffin. Holy flipping crap! It doesn’t get much creepier than this! Bring on the nightmares! Loved it! Like nothing I have ever read before.
https://itsallaboutthethrill.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-craftsman-by-sharon-bolton.html

the proposal.jpg

The Proposal by S.E. Lynes
It was the definition of a psychological thriller. Kept me up until 5 am! Went quickly from a girl gets stalker book to dark, creepy mindblowing, wtf did I just read book.
https://itsallaboutthethrill.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-proposal-by-se-lynes.html

Thanks so much, Kim. I’ve read (and loved!) The Craftsman and I have The Proposal on my TBR.

If Kim has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

One Day in December by Josie SilverThe Craftsman by Sharon BoltonThe Proposal by S.E. Lynes |

About Kim:
ER nurse, dog mom, book lover and blogger

Kim’s Social Media Links:
It’s All About the ThrillTwitter @about_thethrillInstagram |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Joanne (@portybelle) #PortobelloBookBlog #damppebbles

Happy Tuesday! For the second week on the trot, I have moved the first #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post of the week to Tuesday (rather than Monday) because of a blog tour review.  Normal service should resume next week! Today I am delighted to welcome a brilliant blogger to damppebbles to share the #R3COMM3ND3D2018 book love – Joanne of Portobello Book Blog.  I love Joanne’s blog so if you haven’t discovered it yet (but I’m sure you have!) then head on over and say hi!

If you’re new to damppebbles then you may be wondering what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about.  It’s about sharing three books you love.  Three books which you think everyone else MUST read.  It doesn’t matter who wrote it, what genre it is or how it was published.  The only stipulation is that the books you choose must have been published in the same year.  If you’re a book blogger, author or publisher and you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 (which starts on 1st November) then please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Joanne’s choices…

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan.jpg

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan
Beautifully written story of how life can carry on after tremendous loss and still have meaning and light. Wonderfully warm and uplifting.
https://portobellobookblog.com/2018/08/28/the-wisdom-of-sally-red-shoes-by-ruth-hogan-review-ruthmariehogan-tworoadsbooks/

Anatomy of a Scandal.jpg

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
A courtroom drama which is scarily topical with all the #MeToo scandal this year. Really makes you think and utterly compelling.
https://portobellobookblog.com/2018/01/08/anatomy-of-a-scandal-by-sarah-vaughan-review-svaughanauthor-simonschusteruk/

The Book of Love.jpg

The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney
The finest book yet by this author in my opinion. Had me in floods but such a beautiful love story which I loved mightily.
https://portobellobookblog.com/2018/10/18/the-book-of-love-by-fionnuala-kearney-review-fionnualatweets/

Thanks so much, Joanne. Great choices.  I have Anatomy of a Scandal on the terrifying TBR so will make a point of moving it up!

If Joanne has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth HoganAnatomy of a Scandal by Sarah VaughanThe Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney |

About Joanne:
Blogger who lives by the sea, happily married, mum to two teens, loves books, baking and watching the birds.

Joanne’s Social Media Links:
Portobello Book BlogTwitter @portybelleFacebookInstagram |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Rae (@rae_reads1) #RaeReads #damppebbles

Woohoo! It’s Friday.  I hope you have some exciting bookish plans in store for the weekend.  Today I am delighted to welcome one of my favourite bloggers to damppebbles to share the #R3COMM3ND3D2018 book love.  The ever so lovely Rae of Rae Reads.  I’m a huge fan of Rae’s blog so I strongly recommend you head on over there now to take a peek (and then head straight back here to find out which three books Rae chose as her #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks!).

#R3COMM3ND3D is all about the book love.  Can you name three books published last year which were standout reads for you? Three books you would recommend to everyone? That’s what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about.  Any genre, written by any author, published traditionally, by an indie press or by the author themselves.  The only catch being they must be from the same year.  At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 love but come 1st November it will be all about 2019’s releases.  If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 then please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Rae’s choices…

the chalk man.jpg

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
I loved how dark and intense this book was!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/the-chalk-man-by-c-j-tudor-cjtudor-blogtour-michaeljbooks-review/

Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice Preston.jpg

Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice Preston
I have a soft spot for Historical Romance and this book is such a well written, gorgeous story!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/lady-cecily-and-the-mysterious-mr-gray-by-janice-preston-janicegpreston-review/

Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan.jpg

Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan
This is a book for children but has an element of suspense that I thought was great. I enjoyed it just as much as my children did!
https://raereadsbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/dont-ever-look-behind-door-32-by-b-c-r-fegan-bcrfegan-taleblade-review/

Excellent choices, Rae. Thank you. One of my very favourite books and I think this is the first time we’ve had a children’s book included (which, as a mum of two, I love!).

If Rae has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Chalk Man by C.J. TudorLady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray by Janice PrestonDon’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 by B.C.R. Fegan |

About Rae:
I’m a mum of 2 who is stationery, knitting and book obsessed! To be honest my book blog keeps me sane(ish).

Rae’s Social Media Links:
Rae ReadsTwitter @rae_reads1Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Julie Morris (@book_problem) #ALittleBookProblem #damppebbles

Rules are made to be broken (don’t quote me on that!) so in a change to the planned schedule, welcome to #R3COMM3ND3D2018 on a Tuesday! I featured a blog tour review yesterday so I decided to move things around a little this week which means #R3COMM3ND3D2018 on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. I hope you don’t mind! They say a change is as good as a rest (and exactly the same thing will happen next week too). Today I am delighted to welcome the lovely Julie Morris to damppebbles to share her three #R3COMM3ND3D picks. Julie blogs over at the brilliant A Little Book Problem so if you haven’t discovered her wonderful blog yet then head on over and check it out!

What is #R3COMM3ND3D? It’s all about sharing the book love. I invite bookish types – authors, book bloggers and people who work in publishing – to choose three books they think the rest of us should read. They can be any genre, written by any author, traditionally, indie or self-published. The only rule is that they must have been published in the SAME year. At the moment we’re focussing on titles published last year in 2018 but from 1st November it will be all about this year’s new releases. If you’re a bookish type (book blogger, author or you work in publishing) and you would like to take part then please complete the form at the bottom of this post. But hurry, places are limited and they’re going FAST!

Here are Julie’s choices…

the songs of us.jpg

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper
This is a debut novel which I find quite astounding as the writing is very accomplished and perfect balances humour and emotion. It had me laughing and crying and I really loved it.
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/19/the-songs-of-us-by-emma-cooper-bookreview-blogtour-itsemmacooper-headlinepg-thesongsofus-uplit/

all the hidden truths.jpg

All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew
I love a book that makes you think and this one really does that. It comes at the issue of gun violence from a different angle that was really provocative, which makes it an uneasy read but it is important that we be made uncomfortable about these topics
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/08/11/all-the-hidden-truths-by-claire-askew-bookreview-publicationday-onenightstanzas-hodderbooks-netgalley-allthehiddentruths-netgalley/

battlestar suburbia.jpg

Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden
This is a book that doesn’t seem to have had much attention but it is smart and very funny and I think it deserves a wider readership than it might be getting. I really enjoyed it; it is probably quite different from what others are recommending!
https://alittlebookproblem.co.uk/2018/09/21/battlestar-suburbia-by-chris-mccrudden-bookreview-cmccrudden-farragobooks-netgalley-battlestarsuburbia-netgalley/

Thanks Julie – great choices. All three books sound really interesting and I’ll be adding All The Hidden Truths to the wishlist!

If Julie has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

| The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper | All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew | Battlestar Suburbia by Chris McCrudden |

About Julie:
I’m Julie, 46, ex-lawyer, blogger, mum/step-mum of 5, book-obsessed aspiring writer.

Julie’s Social Media Links:
| A Little Book Problem | Twitter @book_problem | Facebook | Instagram |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd @PenguinUKBooks #TheInnocentWife #damppebbles

the innocent wife.jpg“You’re in love with a man on Death Row in Florida, convicted of a brutal murder twenty years ago.

You’re convinced he didn’t do it, and you’re determined to prove it. You’re part of a mass online campaign that picks holes in the case, uncovers evidence of police incompetence, and agitates for this miscarriage of justice to be overturned.

Now you’re married to him, and he’s a free man, his conviction thrown out. You have the rest of your lives to spend together.

You’re overjoyed. After all, he’s innocent.

Isn’t he?”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my review of The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd.  This book had a real buzz about it when it was first published in December 2017 (yes it has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, yes I am a terrible book blogger who reads at a snail’s pace!).  I received a free eARC copy of The Innocent Wife which has in no way influenced my review.

I keep seeing mixed reviews for this book and I just don’t get it.  I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me – reading is subjective.  I totally get that.  I’ll say this though, if you’re anything like me you will love this book.  It has everything I want in a novel.  I loved the small town American feel of it, I loved how the author has used the nation’s love of true crime to give it a more authentic edge, I loved the plot and I loved the characters.  This is turning into an epic year of reading for me; nearly every book I pick up just blows me away!  And that includes The Innocent Wife.

Notorious convicted killer, Dennis Danson, comes to Sam’s attention when questions begin to be raised over the evidence and trial used to convict him and send him to death row.  An online group start petitioning for his release claiming the Red River Police got the wrong man.  Sam does what any normal (!) 30-something would do in this situation and starts corresponding with Dennis.  Before long a strong bond is formed between them and Dennis sends a visiting order.  Sam drops everything, packs her bags and flies off to Altoona Prison to meet Dennis in person, hoping he’s everything his letters lead her to believe he is.  After an awkward start, the couple relax into each others company and before long Sam has extended her visa to allow her to visit Dennis on a regular basis.  Then he’s released and everything changes.  Sam is married to a man she hardly knows.  And what’s more, what she was once certain of, she’s not anymore…

Character, character, character.  I flipping love a bunch of fascinating people!  I really felt for Sam.  I could feel her loneliness, her need to be loved and adored which emanated from the page.  I also found her a little frustrating at times because I wanted her to stop being so drippy and ‘woman-up’ a bit.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Sam’s story though.  She intrigued me.  I also loved the mysterious Dennis, although I doubt very much I was supposed to!  There was something quite dark and dangerous about him and that appealed. Other characters were great too such as the true crime documentary filmmaker, Carrie, who welcomes Sam to the US with open arms and then becomes her guardian angel.  She just knows Dennis is innocent and will do everything in her power to prove it.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, yes.  It’s a delicious slow burn of a read and I loved it!  I was absolutely fascinated to see where the story was going to go and I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Gripping, unnerving and it ticked so many boxes for me.  I would not hesitate to pick up another book by Amy Lloyd.  In fact, I can’t wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Innocent Wife.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd was published in the UK by Arrow Publishing on 4th October 2018 in paperback, hardcover, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

amy lloyd.jpgAmy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

Author Links:TwitterFacebook |

 

#BookReview: The Chain by Adrian McKinty @orionbooks @orion_crime @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheChain #DontBreaktheChain #damppebbles

the chain.jpg“VICTIM.
SURVIVOR.
ABDUCTOR.
CRIMINAL.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.”

YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my stop on The Chain by Adrian McKinty blog tour.  I was given a free ARC copy of The Chain but that has in no way influenced my review.  My thanks to Leanne Oliver at Orion Books for being able to read minds and know this was a book I was desperate to get my mitts on and to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite.  This book is a corker.

I spend an awful lot of time on Twitter.  I’m not ashamed of that.  It’s part of being a book blogger and part of the job I do.  There are LOTS of books on Twitter.  It’s a total book-haven with something for everyone.  With that in mind, there are books I see and they don’t interest me (don’t get me wrong, I wish every success to the authors, publishers and everyone else involved – it’s just that I’m a psychological thriller and crime lover and if it doesn’t fall into that category then I let it pass me by).  Then there are the books I see and I know that I HAVE TO READ THEM.  Should I shout that a little louder? I KNOW I HAVE TO READ THEM!  The Chain by Adrian McKinty was one such book.  I saw a GIF.  The deal was done…

How often do you feel like you have a connection with a book before you’ve even read it?  To any of my blogger friends reading this, you may recognise this feeling.  Everyone is talking about a certain book and then the FOMO kicks in and you know you HAVE to read it.  It happens to me a few times a year.  And then the poor book sits on my shelf gathering dust for….well, however long it takes me to remember how much I REALLY wanted to read it.  The ‘gathering dust phase’ didn’t happen with The Chain.  I started reading it the same day it arrived.  I HAD to read this book immediately. I’m not even sure the book was completely out of the envelope before I made a start…

That premise.  How can you resist that premise? I know I couldn’t.  Are chain letters still a thing? I remember receiving a few when I was younger.  They didn’t invoke any kind of fear or compulsion in me.  The only thing they evoked was the desire to chuck the thing in the bin.  But what if the message you received meant your child had been kidnapped?  What if the only way to get your child back was to kidnap another child? And so on and so forth (#DontBreaktheChain).  To save your child you must become a kidnapper and turn another family’s life upside-down causing fear, heartache and untold trauma to so many.  And what if breaking the chain meant your child would die…?

That’s exactly the situation single mum, Rachel finds herself in after allowing her 13-year-old daughter, Kylie, to walk to the bus stop alone.  And there begins Rachel’s nightmare and the start of a compelling, high energy tale about the bad things good people are capable of doing when put under extreme amounts of pressure.  I loved it! It’s got everything you want; likeable and unlikeable characters (actually, the bad guys are pretty despicable characters in all fairness) and a flawless hook that won’t let you go even when you should really be doing ‘life stuff’.  Plus the writing is just wonderful.  Really, really top notch.

I really felt for Rachel but I’m still not sure if I liked her.  I kept wincing as another terrible scenario or choice was forced upon her.  If I could have read the book from behind my hands then I would have done.  Rachel was frequently put into impossible situations and I eagerly watched as she made the only decision she could whilst shaking my head and muttering ‘noooooooo…’ under my breath.  All the time reminding myself that ‘it’s just a book, it’s not real!’.  Exactly how far would YOU go to save your child?

Would I recommend this book? I certainly would.  It’s like nothing else you’ve read before and it will leave its mark on you.  The story is gripping from start to finish and the ending is very satisfying.  I wanted to race through this book yet savour every moment.  I haven’t read a book by Adrian McKinty before but I can guarantee The Chain won’t be the last title I pick up by this author.  A terrifying, edge-of-your-seat read which I highly recommend.  The Chain is going to be massive!

I chose to read and review an ARC of The Chain.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty was published in the UK by Orion Books on 9th July 2019 and is available in hardcover, audio and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstones | BookDepositoryGoodreads |

Blog tour graphic.png

about-the-author3

adrian mckinty.jpgAdrian McKinty is a crime novelist from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

His books have won the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Barry Award. Adrian is also a two time Dagger nominee and shortlistee for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year.

He studied law at Warwick University and philosophy at Oxford University before emigrating to New York City in the mid 90s.

Author Links:TwitterWebsiteFacebook |

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheGoodDaughter #damppebbles

the good daughter.jpg“The Good Daughter will have you hooked from the first page to the last, and will stay with you long after you have finished reading!

One ran. One stayed. But who is…the good daughter?

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s childhoods were destroyed by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – a notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family consumed by secrets from that shocking night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer. But when violence comes to their home town again, the case triggers memories she’s desperately tried to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family won’t stay buried for ever…”

Welcome bookish friends to damppebbles and to my review of The Good Daughter by hugely popular author, Karin Slaughter.  The Good Daughter was published on 3rd May 2018 and has been lingering on my NetGalley shelf for far too long.  I received a free eARC of this book but that has in no way influenced my review.

Yes, yes, yes, I’m absolutely kicking myself that it’s taken me so long to read this book.  I used to read everything by Karin Slaughter like my life depended on it but I have to confess I haven’t picked up one of her books for a little while now.  I still remember parts of her book Blindsighted, the first book in the Grant County series, so vividly.  I think I was expecting something similar when I made a start on The Good Daughter but how wrong could I have been?! This felt like it was written by a completely different author to the Grant County or Will Trent novels.  I’ve always enjoyed Slaughter’s work.  The Good Daughter I absolutely loved.

Charlotte and Samantha Quinn are used to trouble.  Their father, Rusty, is the local defence lawyer and his reputation proceeds him.  But not in a good way.  Rusty is the reason some of the worst lowlifes in Pikeville, Georgia walk free.  So the family are often on the receiving end of angry, bitter abuse.  One day their lives turn upside down when two masked gunmen enter their home.  Rusty is at the office so the girl’s mother, Harriet, tries to calm the situation down and protect her daughters.  But the unthinkable happens and Harriet is killed in cold blood.  Her young daughters bearing witness to the tragedy.  The gunmen are forced to rethink their plans.  After all, there can be no witnesses – and now the girls must die too.  But Charlotte manages to escape.  Samantha, unfortunately, isn’t so lucky.  Now, 28 years later, Charlotte is a lawyer just like her father with problems of her own.  She unwittingly becomes involved in a terrifying school shooting which leaves the head teacher and a young girl dead.  The incident brings horrific memories of her own flooding back because the truth can’t be buried forever…

This book really is something quite special.  I was completely emotionally involved with it from start to finish and savoured every single word of The Good Daughter.  I didn’t want it to end and could have happily read another 500 pages or so.  There are so many brilliant moments within the story; young Charlotte’s palpable fear and indecision when the moment to escape comes – leaving her older sister to certain death, the wonderful twist fairly early on in the book that you just don’t see coming, the relationship between Charlotte and her father, when Lenore, Rusty’s secretary’s, story is revealed to the reader.  So many fantastic little touches that when added together make something truly magnificent.  It’s also very dark with a number of terrifying and upsetting scenes.

Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would.  It does include some very harrowing and disturbing scenes which involve a young Charlotte and her attackers.  I don’t want to give any spoilers away but it’s important you know that these scenes are distressing.  I fell in love with so many of the characters in The Good Daughter and I still, after having read this book a few months ago now, remember them vividly.  A book which will stay with me for a long time to come and will most likely feature in my top ten books of the year list.  Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Good Daughter.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter was published in the UK by Harper Collins and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

about-the-author3

karin slaughter.jpgKarin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop TownThe Good Daughterand Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.

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Author photo and bio © https://www.karinslaughter.com/

#BookReview: Bird Box by Josh Malerman @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #BirdBox #damppebbles #15BooksofSummer (2/15)

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IF YOU’VE SEEN WHAT’S OUT THERE…IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE

Malorie raises the children the only way she can: indoors, with the doors locked, the curtains closed, and mattresses nailed over the windows.

The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall, but soon she will have to wake them and blindfold them.

Today they will risk everything. Today they will leave the house.

Josh Malerman’s New York Times bestselling Bird Box is a terrifying psychological thriller that will haunt you long after reading.”

We’ve all heard of Bird Box, right? The book was made into a Netflix film and it was massive, everyone was talking about it. Now I haven’t watched the film (too much blood, guts and gore for me – I get all of that from my books and not film or television!) so I can’t comment on that but this book, this incredible book with such a stunning concept is exceptional.

I devoured this book in a few short hours. I very occasionally say it doesn’t take me long to read a book (more often than not it takes me AGES as I’m a slow reader for a book blogger) but this is by far my quickest read in a long time. I could not put this book down and I flew through the pages like my life depended on it. I was mesmerised by Malorie’s incredible story and wanted to see what was going to happen but also savour my time with this courageous woman struggling through an unimaginable scenario. The publishers say this book will haunt you long after reading and they are so right. I’m traumatised by Bird Box and I love it! If you haven’t watched the film but you have a vague idea of the concept then you must read this book. I don’t think you truly ‘get it’ until you’re living it with Malorie and the children. Oh my gosh, it’s buried deep down in my soul. Absolutely superb!

Malorie discovers she’s pregnant. It’s not what she planned, the father of the baby isn’t one for a committed relationship but she knows she’s going to have the baby and do the best she can for her child. But then life takes a completely unexpected swerve. The news starts to report normal, everyday people committing unprovoked acts of extreme violence and then killing themselves. The killings start in Russia but before long there have been a number of attacks closer to home in America. No one knows for sure what provokes these normal people to carry out such horrific acts but it is believed they all ‘saw’ something. Something beyond what the human brain can comprehend. Something so unimaginable that it drives people violently mad. The solution? Don’t look. Windows are covered. Doors are locked tight. Blindfolds become the norm. Whatever you do, no matter how tempting, don’t look…

Don’t look. It sounds so simple. How many times has someone said ‘don’t look behind you, but….’ which of course makes you want to look even more. Malerman’s terrifying world full of unknown ‘creatures’ puts you on edge from the start. The book is told in the past and the present. The past shows us Malorie’s journey to the safe house where we meet a cast of fascinating characters, all thrown together with the same threat hanging over them and having to cope as best they can. In the present we are with Malorie and the children as she courageously takes them blindly up the river. To where we don’t actually find out until much later in the book but this just adds to the books tension and ratches the drama up tenfold.

This is a truly wonderful piece of fiction. It’s the kind of book you want your friend to read just so you can talk to someone about it. Malorie is a stand-out character and you see her change and adapt to her situation as you move through the story. She becomes hardened and it was fascinating to watch. Cope or die. Malorie isn’t the only fascinating character in this novel though. The residents of the safe house all add something and the children broke my heart.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. I loved this book and it will stay with me for some time to come. The only downside is the rather sudden and abrupt ending. I thought I had just under 100 pages left with Malorie which I planned to savour, only to find those pages were a short story. That, however, will not deter me from giving this atmospheric, creepy, mesmerising book five fabulous stars and a place on my top books of the year list, no siree! Bird Box is magnificent. Unsettling, terrifying, thought-provoking and impossible to put down. Highly recommended.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman was published in the UK by Harper Collins on 29th January 2015 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | BookDepository | Goodreads |

15 books of summer

about-the-author3

josh malerman.jpg

Josh Malerman is the acclaimed author of Bird Box, as well as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The High Strung. He lives in Michigan.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |